Former EastEnders actress Jane Whittenshaw, best known for her role as social worker Anita Banks, has passed away.
Her agent has released a statement confirming the sad news of Jane’s peaceful passing last Saturday, with her husband, best friend, and caregivers by her side. Jane, who made her first appearance as Anita in June 1997 when Mark and Ruth Fowler applied to foster a child, was praised for being “generous to a fault” and “great fun to be around.”
The statement reads: “With profound sadness, we must announce the passing of Jane Whittenshaw, a much-loved and highly respected client for over 30 years. She peacefully slipped away last Saturday, with her husband Hugh, best friend Rebecca, and caregivers beside her.
“Beyond being an esteemed client, Jane was a dear friend, known for her abundant generosity and vibrant spirit. An immensely talented actor and a voice superstar, she leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of over 500 radio plays, a result of her numerous engagements with the BBC Radio Rep and various independent productions. She was a true professional, an absolute joy to work with, and beloved by all who had the privilege of doing so. We extend our sincerest condolences to Hugh and the family.”
Jane was also recognized for her appearances on The Bill, Silent Witness, Grange Hill, The Green Wing, Endeavour, and Call the Midwife. Her most recent role was in the 2022 All 4 series I Hate You. The multi-talented actress was involved in theater, film, television, as well as radio work throughout her career.
She performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company on stage and had television credits in Casualty, Green Wing, Twenty Twelve, Let’s Pretend, Doctors, and many more. She also played roles in movies like Invasion, Mrs. Dalloway, and Golden Years. Jane was a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company and contributed to recording 400 radio plays.
Following the announcement of her passing, fans paid tribute to the actress on social media. One user expressed, “I’m deeply saddened to hear this news. Sending love to you and her family and friends.” Fellow soap actress Lorelei King wrote, “I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Jane Whittenshaw. She was wonderful to work with and incredibly talented. I’m grateful to Jack for sharing this—one of my favorite pieces of her work.”